SW Highway towns trial 40km/h limit

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times

Four South West towns along South Western Highway will soon have the speed limit reduced from 50km/h to 40km/h on the main street in a bid by the State Government to boost road safety.

Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said the reduction in the speed limit had been a long time coming.

“This is something that the community of Balingup, Donnybrook, Boyanup and Bridgetown have been asking for for a long time,” Ms Roberts said.

40km will make a big difference and we know from scientific evidence just wiping 10km off the speed you are travelling makes a huge difference in terms of your stopping distance, your ability to stop.

Michelle Roberts

After the tragic deaths on South West roads already this year, Ms Roberts reminded drivers to slow down and take regular breaks.

“It has been a sad start to the year with nine deaths on West Australian roads, eight of them in the country, most of them in the South West and Great Southern,” she said. “We know that one of the key factors involved in country road deaths is fatigue so I would encourage people when you slow down through these 40km towns, actually consider stopping, breaking your journey, having a cup of tea or coffee. We’ve run a number of campaigns and the most recent one being the, ‘Don’t trust your tired self’, so we try to get that message out there.”

Collie Preston MLA Mick Murray said he recalled the first suggestion for the limit to be lower was more than 12 years ago.

“After many years of lobbying by all the councils that are here today, that we are now working with the councils and road safety to reduce the speed limit through the many towns in the South West,” Mr Murray said.

By reducing that small amount of 10km, it doesn’t extend the travel time for people going through there with trucks or cars but it certainly makes it a lot safer to people to interact within their communities.

Mick Murray

Donnybrook shire president Brian Piesse said he was looking forward to the trial.

“We were asked this morning, how long would it take to delay people travelling through from Bridgetown to Bunbury and it will be very minimal,” Mr Piesse said.

The trial runs from the end of this month until May.

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